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Can I install a room addition footer over a geothermal loop?

Our house is at the end of a ridge that falls off steep on three sides. Existing geothermal loop system runs along one side of the house and goes to the front yard. We want to add a garage to the front, but would need to put a corner over the existing loop lines. They are about 5 feet deep. Is it acceptable to just go right over them? I think my footers will be 4' deep, not sure exactly what code here is. We're in zone 5a - NW Indiana. Any advice is appreciated. Thanks!

Asked by Matt Bosma
Posted Jul 5, 2014 4:11 PM ET

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Matt,
There are two elements of your question. The first is an engineering question: it concerns whether it is possible to install a foundation on previously disturbed soil. To determine the answer to that question, you will need to consult an engineer.

The second question is more difficult to answer: it concerns whether your new foundation may make future repairs to the ground-source-heat-pump loop impossible. If your heat pump has been operating well for several years, then you can probably limit access to the loop, since it is unlikely to need to be accessed for repairs. The situation you describe isn't ideal, but it probably won't lead to disaster.

Answered by Martin Holladay, GBA Advisor
Posted Jul 6, 2014 5:23 AM ET

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